THE opening ceremony of the 2018 Philippine National Games (PNG) will be star-studded with the presence of sports icons and prominent personalities led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
The national multi-sporting meet, which is one of the qualifiers for athletes aspiring to make it to the national pool, will kick off today in the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), with over 3,000 athletes competing.
President Duterte is set to give his message to the athletes and he will declare the start of PNG at 5 p.m. today. The opening ceremony will start at 2 p.m. with a parade to start along the Department of Health (DOH) office in Region 7 to Osmeña Blvd. then to CCSC.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III will deliver their welcome remarks. The Cebu City Government and Cebu Provincial Government are co-hosts for this year’s meet.
Olympic silver medalist Hidylyn Diaz will be present to lead the Oath of Sportsmanship. This will be followed by the message to the athletes and delegations by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.
The lighting of the Urn of Peace and Unity will be led by PSC commissioner and the overall PNG Chairman Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez. The PBA Hall of Famer will be joined by young athletes and sport legends.
Joining Fernandez are boxer Manuel “Onyok” Velasco, bowler Bong Coo, cue artist Django Bustamante, weightlifter Diaz, trackster Elma Muros Posadas, chess wizard Eugene Torre, jin Monsour del Rosario and boxer Roel Velasco.
Senator and eight-division world champion Pacquiao will also be present, according to the organizers.
There will be a total of 96 local government units (LGU) that will be competing for the overall ranking. The overall champion will win P5 million worth of sporting assistance, while P4 million, P3 million, P2 million and P1 million await the second to fifth placers. (RSC)